Belinda Feek is a NZ Herald reporter

Te Kuiti man admits driving drunk and killing Ocean Heke, 17

Ocean Heke, known as Lovey, who was killed by drunk driver Broc Kawhena on March 3, last year. He admitted causing her death in court today. Photo/File
Ocean Heke, known as Lovey, who was killed by drunk driver Broc Kawhena on March 3, last year. He admitted causing her death in court today. Photo/File

Te Kuiti man Broc Kawhena has admitted driving drunk and causing the death of 17-year-old Ocean Heke.

It's nearly a year since the bubbly teenager' died on the side of State Highway 3 near Otorohanga.

Kawhena made a brief appearance in the High Court at Hamilton today and pleaded guilty to a charge of being in charge of a transport service vehicle while under the influence of drink causing death on April 3, last year.

Broc Kawhena, 21, leaves the Hamilton District Court after an earlier appearance. Photo/File
Broc Kawhena, 21, leaves the Hamilton District Court after an earlier appearance. Photo/File

He had also faced the more serious charge of manslaughter, but today he admitted the lesser charge. The manslaughter charge will be withdrawn.

Drink-driving causing death has a maximum 10-year jail term.

Kawhena was remanded on further bail for sentencing on May 25.

Police cordon at the scene on SH3 where 17-year-old Ocean Heke was hit by a car on March 3, last year. Photo/File
Police cordon at the scene on SH3 where 17-year-old Ocean Heke was hit by a car on March 3, last year. Photo/File

Heke was walking home from a party during the early hours of the morning when she was hit by a vehicle being driven by Kawhena.

Her body was eventually found several hours later lying in a grass verge on State Highway 3.

- NZ Herald

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